I was in the mood for fried fish today, and since it was 60 degrees out, I headed down the road on my bike to try for some bluegills for dinner. Although I prefer crappies, bluegill are the only thing biting right now and in the winter they aren't very strong flavored like summer fish. I should've taken a fly rod, because they were schooled up on the surface, and a small yellow dry fly around a #14 or #16 fished wet so it suspends/falls incredibly slowly is excellent for bluegill, bass, and even crappies on unseasonably warm days in the winter. Although the fish are active and swimming near the surface, they are simply enjoying the sun and warmth, their metabolism can't change that fast. Another good time to use a small #14-#16 yellow dry fished wet is the transition between late winter and early spring when the water is warm and fish sun themselves in the shallows. I don't think fish will do this in lakes but in small (<4 acres) ponds, they always do this.
Anyways, I ended up with 4 keeper sized bluegills in the 6-7" range (bigger fish tend to be too strong flavored for my taste), and I breaded the fillets in cornmeal and fried them... good stuff... I was fishing with #18 treble hooks with one white crappie nibble pressed on the hook, one BB split shot half way between the bobber, rigged only one foot deep so that the fish on the surface would see it. And some of you may be thinking "Why does he use a #18 treble? That sounds like a recipe for dead, gut-hooked sunnies." And I agree, that is exactly what it sounds like, but the fish tend to be hooked in the lips or upper throat, and the hooks are small enough that they do no harm when removed from the throat. The main reason I use these is to fish for low-metabolism winter fish when incrdedibly small baits are required. Sorry, no pictures today, I am going to the Moormans River tomorrow and promise to post some trout pics, thanks for reading!